SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A former Marine was sentenced Tuesday to five years in state prison for punching a police officer, breaking multiple bones in his face and leaving him with other lingering injuries, when the lawman responded to a call of a woman being attacked in Pacific Beach.
Kevin Ryan Freeman, 24, previously pleaded guilty to assaulting veteran San Diego police Officer David West and attacking the woman and her roommate on Nov. 19, 2016.
"Because of Mr. Freeman, my brain is now damaged," West told Judge Polly Shamoon. "I've lost everything because of this man."
West said he hurt his back, his left orbital bone was broken and his jaw damaged as a result of the punch by Freeman. The officer told the judge he also suffers from anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and has ringing in the ears and memory loss.
West said he has not been able to return to his domestic violence unit since being injured and remains on light duty.
"No one wants to give me a chance," the officer said.
West said he has forgiven Freeman for what he did, but asked the judge to sentence the defendant to the maximum nine years in prison.
Freeman apologized to West and thanked him for stopping his path down the wrong road.
"There are no excuses for what I did," the defendant said. "Thank you for not shooting me."
The judge told Freeman that he showed a "lack of control" when he drank alcohol that night.
"You had to know you can't drink," Shamoon told the defendant. "You have to live with the guilt for what you did."
Deputy District Attorney Michael Reilly said Freeman went to the home of a woman he had met at a bar and began choking her during a disagreement over a cell phone. The victim's roommate was also assaulted when she came to the victim's defense, the prosecutor said.
West was punched when he and his partner responded to the scene.
The courtroom was packed with police officers who wanted to show support for a stiff prison sentence.